Welcome to Not bad!, Talk Vomit’s Sunday morning poetry series. Today, we are featuring two poems by Massachusetts poet Dakota Roundtree-Swain.
When water hung from your lashes,
from your branches,
I knew I would cradle you.
Bring you into the eaves of me
You, huddled in my corners
rain beading on my sunporch.
Timid, you come out to eat morsels off my table.
An animal-back rubbing up on my window panes.
Do I dare?
Because you loved her with such ferocity
And she couldn’t love you back.
You are kind and beautiful and
you contain multitudes,
Magnificent multitudes, smelling of parchment,
A rare uncrinkled manuscript.
But she peeled away your spine because
she hates the inky black spaces in her bones.
But don’t you ever think that your text is tainted
because love is only what we think is can be and
she thinks love is cocaine and adultery.
No one was at fault
(though late at night, I ball my fists at her
Not because she’s wrong
But because) you curl into me like
survivalists cocooned in animal insides
when she is too cold.
leaning out my window so that your pale ribs
ebb to meet skins.
Some way of saying that you are beautiful.
In the alabaster, you are ghostly.
With little ripples like the tides of you are moving
The pull of the moon beckoning you out my window
like fingers curling in the ether–
Me thinking you are
some sort of art,
meant to be sculpted from marble,
put in the galleries that you effortlessly covet,
without the finesse of fine painters
could never share the oceans inside you,
no matter how filled with yearning to tread water in them
and show the beaches of you
to the world
ever so slightly,
grovel at the majesty of questions
on my thighs,
holding just gentle,
to remind me you are there.
Dakota Roundtree-Swain is a PhD student in Social Policy, a political wonk, and a sometimes poet. They vibe with old fashions, bad jokes that go on too long, children with glasses, and bad celebrity-looking-for-love 2007 era reality shows. They plan to run for office, so, you know, totally vote for them. Please?